UPP blames government for NCO closure

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The United Progressive Party (UPP) said the government is partly to blame for not averting the abrupt closure of the NCO call centre on Sir George Walter Highway.
Alorica or NCO Financial Services is said to employ approximately 300 people.
UPP’s Senator and Public Relations Officer Damani Tabor said that the concessions which state officials reported had been offered to the company this week, should have been offered months ago.
The staff learned on Thursday that the company would be closing its doors in a matter of days, June 29. One of the factors affecting the company’s operations is the cost of telecoms, which is a necessity for the business.
Tabor believes earlier interventions should have been made in the telecoms sector to lower the cost of that service across the board.
“They have no incentive to continue to invest in the back end of their network. LIME and Digicel put tens of millions of dollars of investment into upgrading their services at that time so this is how the government must intervene to incentivise lowering of cost and increasing service quality. It is a failure of planning and execution, and we have to hold the government accountable,” he said.
The UPP senator also argued that Antigua and Barbuda must do more to offer investors and foreign-owned companies a greater incentive to stay in the country.
“By moving to more upmarket services where the profit margins are higher you would not have this flight to lower wage jurisdiction like Jamaica and Belize and other countries. You have to be able to pivot to consistently improve how resilient the investment is. But there has been no reform or improvement in the business processing outsourcing sector to make job security and that’s a failure,” Tabor posited.

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